When it comes to addictions, especially alcoholism and the need for nicotine, they can be things that follow from generation to generation. While less than half of the children of alcoholics will become alcoholics themselves, teaching them the risks will still help them understand what their other family members may be going through.
Having an alcoholic under the same roof as children can be damaging to them as they are growing up, as well. That is why talking to them and helping them understand this illness can be good for them, and it helps you raise a more educated child.
Talk About The Risks
Alcoholism can kill, in many different ways. When someone drinks a lot, and often, they are killing their liver, literally. Not only that, but binge drinking can lead to alcohol poisoning and nearly instant death. Plus, drunk driving kills, and not just the drunk, but they also put everyone else on the road, or even on the sidewalks, in danger.
Talk to your kids, especially teenagers, about all of these things. When they understand the risks of alcohol abuse better they can make far better decisions on their own possible usage. In teenage years kids are more likely to start experimenting with alcohol, and have a greater chance of binge drinking at parties (from early teens on through the college years).
Use It As A Teaching Tool
While no one wishes to have someone in their life that is fighting an illness of any kind, having someone in your family that struggles with alcoholism can be a good teaching tool for younger family members. It gives direct examples for showing them what addiction does to a personâ€™s life and even to their body.
You want to help the people struggling with addiction in your life, but you also want to use their struggles to protect other family members from following in their footsteps. You might even want to consider including children in interventions and even in trips to rehab and AA.
Be Part Of The Healing Process
Having a family that is there for them is one way that can help an addict recover and live a better life. When you are a part of the healing process for a loved one, no matter what is wrong with them, you are showing them that you love and support them through anything. People need that in order to survive this thing called life.
By standing by the addict in your life you are also teaching the rest of your family, and your children, compassion. Be the healing light the people in your life need and your life will also be that much more happy and fulfilled.